“Did you the confirm my attendance?” Hux asked, not looking up from his computer as Ilan walked into the office. Ilan was the only person who never knocked. Even Kylo gave Hux that courtesy for the most part, except when he was furious. Then Hux was lucky to still have a door when Kylo left.
“I did, but I don't see how the master is going to agree to this,” Ilan said, taking a seat in the chair in front of Hux's desk.
Hux was still getting used to seeing Ilan out of the correctional facility’s uniform. The man prefered black leather pants and an assortment of black linen shirts. The problem was Hux couldn’t imagine what else the man would wear. It seemed too perfect and yet all around wrong, because who wore black leather pants and linen shirts if they weren’t on the set of some vampire romance? Ilan, that’s who.
“He doesn't need to. I'll go alone if necessary,” Hux said, waving off the concern.
“That's likely to only anger him more,” Ilan noted.
“That's frankly too bad for him.”
“You won't go if it upsets him,” Ilan told him without a shade of doubt in his voice. The man knew both Kylo and Hux too well.
“I am certainly not going to go into this conversation with kid gloves, Ilan. If he knows I'll back down then he'll just be an ass about it,” Hux said, finally looking up from his spreadsheets.
“He's going to be an ass either way.”
“I'll deal with it. I'll need you to call Phasma and cancel our lunch date,” Hux told him.
“Why can't you call her?”
“She'll give me shit about it.”
“And why exactly are you canceling your weekly lunch?”
“I foresee myself being indisposed, convincing Ren to go to this dinner,” Hux sighed, leaning back in his chair.
Ilan snorted. He sat back as well, and propped his boots up on Hux's desk. They were quiet for several minutes, just mulling over their own Ren situations.
Hux had pretty much stolen Ilan out from under Kylo's nose when Ilan got out of jail. Kylo went out of his way to act like he was angry about it, but he never gave Ilan orders that conflicted with Hux's own. It wasn't like Kylo needed an enforcer now.
Kylo had gone straight...for the most part. Hux had given him an ultimatum of sorts about three months into their cohabitation. Hux refused to lose Kylo to some slip up, and after three weeks of constant arguing, hate sex, followed by makeup sex, Kylo had agreed to Hux's terms.
First Order Security Consultations did exactly what Kylo and the Knights had done. They provided protection for a fee; however, now they worked with contracts instead of threats and coercion.
Kylo knew security. He'd been in the business since he was a teenager. His company did property and personal consultations, and the knights provided either on-site security or personal security details. Kylo had been very skeptical at first, but Hux had helped him set everything up.
Hux wasn't an expert, but he'd had enough experience running the clinic that he knew how to keep records and deal with clients. Hux handled the paperwork and kept everything on the up and up. Kylo handled the actual consulting and security.
They were a surprisingly good team when they weren't arguing, which happened often enough. Kylo had never been under the constraints of money. Snoke had handled it all without limits. Hux was nowhere near as generous. He budgeted everything, and the knights heard about it if things went over budget. Then Kylo heard about it if things went over budget, and then the knights heard Kylo and Hux hashing it out when things went over budget.
However, that wasn't all that often. After the knights realized they could earn a decent living doing this, they fell in line fairly quickly. Most of them had been tired of the life anyway. Hux assumed getting one’s internal organs abused regularly wasn't actually what any of them signed up for. This was comparatively easy. Most of the time, they just needed to put a little decal or sign on a business that said First Order Security, and no one was willing to fuck with the place. Hux had to admit that Kylo's past did have its perks.
“When are you leaving for your holiday?” Hux asked Ilan as he went back to work.
“This evening,” Ilan said, tapping his fingers against the arm of his chair. He’d abruptly told Hux he’d be taking a ten day trip just the day before. Hux didn’t understand how the knights could rush into things without months of planning, but they seemed perfectly comfortably going in half cocked.
“And how is the dog?”
“Verne's good. Vet says he's recovering nicely. Keeps trying to sprint even with the cast,” Ilan said, removing his phone and handing it to Hux.
Hux thumbed through the multitude of pictures of the mutt. Ilan had rescued it after it had been hit by a car. The man was more protective of the dog than he was of Ren. It was good for him though. The man was even more solitary than Ren, and it was good that he had a companion even if it was a four-legged one.
“Is he going with you?”
“He’ll be staying with the others,” Ilan said, which meant Verne would be staying with Hux and Kylo, but it wasn’t worth arguing over. Kylo would walk the animal without fuss, and Verne was surprisingly good about the furniture.
The door of the office flew open, and Hux and Ilan both looked to see Ren stalk inside looking beyond angry.
“Don't you have work to do?” he asked Ilan as he walked over to Hux's desk. He pushed Ilan's feet off of it, and gave him a pointed look.
“Should probably go check on Verne actually,” he said, taking his phone back from Hux.
“I meant actual work.”
“I can arrange Hux's appointments while I do that,” Ilan told him blandly. Hux had never seen Ilan lose his calm. The man was clearly dangerous, but he never so much as raised his voice even when faced with Kylo’s fury. It was astonishing really.
Kylo growled, but he didn't stop him.
Kylo glared at Hux as Ilan shut the door. “He's not your personal assistant,” he said, gripping the edge of the table.
“You only say that because you don't like that he spoke to your mother...”
“You had no right to make plans with Leia,” Kylo shouted.
“I had every right. I know this is hard to believe, but I have connections and obligations outside of our bedroom. I owe Leia a great debt, and I pay my debts.”
“You owe her nothing. I'm not having dinner with her or him,” Kylo said, slamming his fist down on the desk.
“I told her I would attend. I made no promises about you,” Hux said, unaffected by Kylo's anger.
“You do not dictate what I do,” Hux said calmly.
“I know that. If I did, I would've blocked her number from your phone,” Kylo told him.
“Kylo...I'm attending Han’s retirement dinner. They provided me with a lawyer. I owe them this much, at the very least. I know your feelings on the subject, but I have my own opinions...”
“She offered you a job.”
“Which I turned down.”
“She had no right. She's using you...”
“What do you stand to lose if I go to this? There will be fifty other people there as well. I'm not leaving you for your mother...”
“She isn't my mother.”
“Either way, I'm not going anywhere. You can pretend she doesn't exist, but that solves nothing,” Hux said. He knew it was the wrong thing to say, but he'd said it. It was too late now.
Kylo went quiet and walked out of the room. Hux watched him go, putting his head in his hands once he was alone.
“Should I cancel your—”
Ilan gave him a dubious look, but Hux didn't say anything. Hux did not need a second Phasma in his life. If he wasn’t sure the pair of them would absolutely hate each other, he would’ve suggested Ilan go to his weekly lunch with her instead.
“What happened to you checking on Verne?” Hux asked, trying to go back to work because Kylo needed time to calm down before Hux found him.
“I’m leaving. I just wanted to see that you were still breathing and stubborn,” Ilan said.
“Yes, I’m still both of those. Go,” Hux told him.
“Should I let Colleen know that the master will be there shortly?”
“Did she give you trouble about me canceling lunch?”
“No more than was to be expected,” Ilan said, folding his big arms.
“Let Ren announce himself,” Hux told him. It wasn’t like she wasn’t paying Ren to show up. If she didn’t like it, let her fire him.
“Call if you need something,” Ilan said, stepping back out of the room.
Hux didn’t bother responding. He had three clients to deal with before he could go have it out with Ren.
“You’re avoiding me,” Hux said as he stepped out of his car in the front lot of the clinic. He shut the door and stalked across the parking lot. The summer air would’ve been nice if he hadn’t been wearing a three piece suit. As it was, Hux thought he might actually melt and become one with the asphalt. Ren, on the other hand, looked completely at ease covered from head to toe in heavy black clothing.
“If I was avoiding you, you wouldn’t find me so easily,” Kylo said, sitting on the bench he’d finally bought to replace the one he’d destroyed.
“You always come here when you’re pissed at me. You know I hate coming here,” Hux insisted, giving the sparse group of protesters a heavy glare as they eavesdropped.
“Maybe I just think you should visit more often,” Kylo retorted, shifting to make room on the bench for Hux.
“Oh, and you just happen to feel that way when I do something to piss you off?” Hux asked, folding his arms over his chest as he stood directly in front of Kylo.
“I’m working right now. I’ll talk to you when I get home,” Kylo said, tipping his head up to look at Hux. The bastard wasn’t even sweating.
“You’re sitting on a bench drinking an iced coffee while these idiots scream themselves hoarse. This isn’t work,” Hux told him. Honestly, Hux was beyond happy that Kylo was working somewhere other than inside their apartment. It had taken three months to get Kylo to leave for anything he didn’t deem an emergency.
It hadn’t been that they didn’t get along. Actually, considering that Hux didn’t leave the apartment much either the first month, there had been remarkably little fighting. They’d both been feeling the situation out. Neither of them had ever really shared their space before, and they had both been afraid of sending the other running.
The thing that had been grounding had been the sex, and there had been a lot of it. More precisely, there had been the intimacy before, during, after, and instead of the sex. Hux would’ve laughed in someone’s face if they’d said that sex could heal to him while he’d been a licensed doctor. However, it seemed that every time they had sex, Kylo came out of his shell a little more.
Hux knew it wasn’t the actual sex. He wasn’t that far gone that he believed his cock or ass had magical qualities. It was just quite profound to watch Kylo slowly realize that Hux wasn’t repulsed by him, that Hux was still attracted to him, wanted him.
Half the time Hux couldn’t have cared less about having sex, but he wasn’t about to turn down a chance to be close to Ren after believing he had lost him. Sometimes they just laid in bed and touched each other when they didn’t want to face the day. Hux was constantly surprised by how much both of their attitudes toward things had changed. It was as though Hux was free to finally put himself first, and Kylo seemed to feel the same.
“Certainly more work than driving a fancy sports car around town,” Kylo retorted.
“Oh please, I spend half my days making sure that your business is running smoothly while you sit in the sun,” Hux said.
“I told her no,” Hux said, trying not to give in to the urge to shout in front of Phasma’s clinic.
“You considered the offer,” Kylo said, sounding far too betrayed for the circumstances.
“Of course, I considered it. I don’t make a habit of making decisions without considering all of the pros and cons,” Hux told him, stepping forward right between Kylo’s spread legs.
“I’m well aware, but I told her no, so I don’t see why you’re still upset with me. Now, would you come back to the office to sign the contracts I worked on all morning?” Hux asked, leaning forward and moving in for a kiss.
Kylo moved forward to accept a peck on the cheek. Hux ignored their meager audience and ran his fingers through Kylo’s hair affectionately.
“She’s using you to get to me,” Kylo said softly as he looped his arm around Hux’s waist to pull him down into Kylo’s lap. Hux rolled his eyes and tried to escape the completely inappropriate position.
“Kylo, do you really think I’m naive enough to get used without my knowledge?” Hux demanded, pushing against Kylo’s firm chest. This was a humiliating position to find himself in. He probably looked like some lovesick teenager throwing himself onto his boyfriend’s lap. Pathetic.
“I don’t like having choices taken from me,” Kylo reminded him.
“I’m not taking it from you. You are not obligated to go to the dinner. You know I won’t go if it’s going to be a problem, but I would like to go and I think you would too,” Hux said, giving up on escape and just barreling ahead.
Kylo growled, but he didn’t argue further. He’d clearly already made his decision before Hux arrived.
“I promise to make it up to you,” Hux whispered in his ear.
Kylo bucked his hips and growled in Hux’s ear.
“Are you kidding me? You cancel lunch so you can come dry hump my security detail on the front bench?” Phasma’s voice was less than pleased, though no small amount amused. She stood half out the front door, looking the same as ever. “There could be people with functioning eyes in there. They should not be exposed to your hate humping or any of your other strange relationship rituals. Don’t think I didn’t see you carry the good doctor over shoulder last week,” she said, pointing at Kylo. “No one wants to see that. Shoo, get out of here. You’re worse than protestors,” she continued to be a nuisance.
Hux struggled to get off of Kylo, who was no help whatsoever. There was nothing dignified about being held captive in Kylo’s lap in front of strangers who, if they’d known who he was, would be calling him a murderer.
A car pulled into the lot as Hux, Kylo, and Phasma continued to bicker. An older woman got out of the vehicle and walked toward the front of the clinic.
“Good afternoon, Mr. Ren, Doctor Hux,” she said as she passed them, as though she was witnessing something so commonplace it didn’t warrant comment.
Phasma had a smug look on her face as Hux finally freed himself. “Stop using my clinic for your couple’s counseling,” she said, disappearing back inside.
“This is all your fault. You’re the one who runs here every time you want to punish me,” Hux told Ren. He tried to ignore that the protestors had really stopped protesting and were now blatantly staring, but it was obnoxious. “Don’t you have hellfire and brimstone to warble about? Can’t you see we’re having a private argument?” he demanded.
The protesters went back to halfheartedly shouting, and Hux turned his attention back to his stubborn partner.
“Are you coming home, or are you going to sit her brooding some more?” Hux asked.
Kylo didn’t respond, but he stood up and followed Hux to the waiting car. “You know I don’t like going back…” Hux said once they were inside.
“How do you think I feel about my parents? You’re not wrong about me running from it, but you’re a hypocrite because you’re running from the clinic like you’re afraid if you go inside it will be immediately overtaken by police.”
“That has already happened before, so I’m not being ridiculous.”
“You’re going to go in there one day and realize it’s just like you remember it, and that’s okay because it’s what you and your mother created. If you stop running,” Kylo told him.
“Stop using my tactics against me.”
Kylo snorted, but he reached out to rest his hand over Hux’s on the gear shift. “I’ll go to the dinner. I just don’t know how it will end.”
“We’ll work it out...so long as you don’t murder anyone in a room full of cops.”
“I’ll do my best.”
“That is so reassuring,” Hux told him as he started the engine.
“Will you hold still?” Hux asked, pulling at the lapels of the jacket he was trying to get to lay right.
“Will you stop it with the jacket?” Kylo snapped, grabbing Hux’s hands and flattening them against his chest. “You’re acting more nervous than I am.”
“Forgive me if I’m afraid you might punch someone at this event,” Hux retorted, running his hands over Kylo’s chest. He’d bulked up again over the last six months. Hux had spent weeks tailoring a diet for him that wouldn’t leave him miserable. It wasn’t decadent, but it got the job done. It wasn’t like Kylo had been used to caviar or anything fancy prior to his injuries; it was more that he couldn’t eat certain things than that he actually wanted to eat them. Kylo was simply not a fan of being told no.
“I haven’t punched anything in weeks,” Kylo said, wrapping his hands around Hux’s hips. It had been more like months, but Hux had learned to appreciate his bad sense humor.
“That just means you’re due,” Hux said, reaching up to fix the tie. It turned out that Snoke had no time to teach the knights how to tie a proper double windsor, so they all had an abundance of clip-on ties. It was a travesty in Hux’s eyes, and he insisted on tying Kylo’s ties for him. Perhaps Kylo knew how to tie one by now—he was a very quick study—but Kylo wasn’t above tying it improperly just to annoy Hux.
“I have every right to punch him,” Kylo noted, letting Hux fuss with the tie.
“You cannot punch Han in the face in the middle of his retirement dinner,” Hux said, forcing himself not to “slip” and strangle Kylo with his own tie. He’d probably enjoy it, which wouldn’t help Hux’s cause at all.
“Why are you even forcing me to go to this? I don’t want to see them. I don’t want anything to do with them,” Kylo said, running his thumb over Hux’s hipbone. He knew exactly what that did to Hux, and it was an unfair tactic.
“I owe them a great deal, Kylo. Whether you like it or not, they are directly responsible for my freedom.”
“Who they hired. Lando will also be there,” Hux said, smoothing down the knot of the rich red tie. It was the only color Hux could get Kylo to wear. The man had an unhealthy relationship with black. Even his underwear were all black.
“As will a thousand other people. They won’t even notice that we aren’t there,” Kylo argued, pulling Hux in the direction of the bed instead of the door.
“We’re sitting at their table. I think they’ll notice,” Hux told him.
“Why are we sitting at their table?” Kylo roared. “I refuse to sit with them and their cronies.”
“Kylo,” Hux said softly, running his palms up and down Kylo’s thick arms. “It’s one night. You promised you’d stop running from this. I offered to host them for dinner, but you didn’t want to be stuck without distractions. It’s this or a double date. I’m really out of patience for being the middleman here. Either you face them tell them exactly what you’re feeling and ask them to leave you to your own path, or you hear them out.”
Kylo shook his head, collapsing onto the bed. “I can’t,” Kylo said, rubbing his hands over his thighs roughly.
“What can’t you do?” Hux asked softly, kneeling between Kylo’s knees.
“I can’t face them and tell them. I’m not sixteen anymore. I need to suck it up,” Kylo said, squeezing Hux’s shoulders.
“Is that what Snoke told you? Poor little rich boy?” Hux asked, pressing a kiss to Kylo’s thigh. They’d been working on talking since Hux had gotten out of jail. It was slow, and neither of them were particularly good at it. Both of them could discuss work, tactics, things of little emotion. Relationships and feelings were another matter entirely.
There was a lot of shouting and cooldown pacing, but Hux really hadn’t expected anything else. They were both stubborn and volatile, but Hux didn’t have a single doubt about their commitment to working through it. Like Kylo’s punching, their blowouts were becoming less and less frequent as they realized they weren’t each other’s enemy.
“I’ve been angry so long, I’m afraid of what will happen if I realize I was wrong,” Kylo admitted, falling back to lie flat on the bed.
Hux was shocked by how honest and articulate the response was. He also knew he was completely out of his depth.
He crawled up to straddle Kylo’s hips and looked down at him. There was no hiding his scar or eye. Sometimes Kylo wore a patch over the scarred eye when he worked in public. Hux suspected it was because he didn’t want to frighten children or maybe because kids tended to see the eyepatch and think he was a pirate. Kylo was surprisingly good with curious kids who ventured over to ask about it when coming in and out of the clinic. Sometimes Kylo would tell him about it after work, sounding almost delighted by their enthusiasm. Sometimes it was easy to forget what he’d gone through, but the scars were always there to remind him.
Kylo faced the realities of his injuries everyday. Everything from the way he moved, or was limited from moving, to his diet were a result of his previous life. Hux didn’t know, if their situations were reversed and Hux faced the possibility that it had all been preventable, if it wouldn’t break him.
“Would you rather spend the rest of your life wondering? I wonder every day if I hadn’t spent so many hours working if perhaps I would’ve realized my mother was sick sooner. I wonder if she would still be alive. I’ve always been a person who wanted answers even if they were painful ones, but I can’t make that choice for you,” Hux told him, resting his palm over Kylo’s chest. He could feel the strong heartbeat beneath it. All that Kylo had survived had not diminished that.
Kylo didn’t answer right away, lying there and staring off into the middle distance.
“I can go alone, Ren. You don’t have to go,” he offered. He’d been offering it from the start. In truth, he wouldn’t have even told Kylo about the event if he hadn’t been showing signs that he wanted to see them. He’d question Hux at the most random of times about how his parents had acted while he was unconscious or what they’d said. He wasn’t subtle, but the questioning also wasn’t frequent.
“No, you aren’t going alone,” Kylo insisted. He’d been doing that from the start too, as though they might knock Hux out and serve him for dinner if Kylo wasn’t there. It would've been endearing if Kylo didn't actually believe they might eat Hux for dinner.
“We're sitting at their table. I had no say in the matter, but I doubt we can change it,” Hux said, rocking his hips just slightly. It was enough to get Kylo's attention though. He brought his hands up and held Hux's hips, trying to pull him more firmly against his body.
They really didn't have time for a quickie...a second quickie, actually. Hux had given Kylo a handjob in the shower to get him to stop grumbling. “We can't have sex. We're both dressed to go. I am not tying your tie again, and I'm certainly not going there with sticky underwear,” Hux admonished, when Kylo began to roll his hips with purpose.
Kylo didn't argue, but he didn't stop rocking immediately either. Hux sighed, letting him enjoy himself for now. Hux wasn't the one that was going to be uncomfortably hard all the way to the restaurant, so he didn't really care.
“You need to do something about your hair,” Hux told him, looking down at the thick black mop that covered only the top of his head. Kylo had been asking Hux to shave it for him regularly since he'd moved back in. Kylo couldn't actually reach his whole head with the slowly improving muscle damage done to his shoulder, and he hated having someone else approach him with a razor. Hux couldn't say he really minded the task or the way Kylo sat between his legs as he'd do it.
“No,” Kylo said, shaking his head.
“Just put it in a bun. It looks ridiculous down when you wear a suit,” Hux said, reaching forward and running his fingers through the silky dark strands.
“No,” Kylo repeated, bucking Hux off of him and getting off the bed. Hux landed on the mattress and watched as Kylo stormed out of the room.
Kylo still used the hair as a mask, but it only drew attention. The man had REN inked in the back of his skull, hair that was unmissable, and a body that couldn't be inconspicuous if it was half as large as it was. There was no missing Kylo, scars or not.
Hux laid on the bed, staring up at the ceiling. This whole retirement dinner had been a gambit. He knew it could blow up in his face at any time, but he couldn't live like this. Kylo couldn't live like this. He was in limbo. He wasn't Ben Solo anymore, but the longer Snoke was dead the more Kylo distanced himself from the man he'd become under Snoke's careful grooming.
Hux doubted a doctor would approve of his methods, but Kylo needed someone other than Hux to look at him like he was human and not a god or monster. The knights were good to Kylo and loyal, but there was a strange sense of awe when they looked at him that only fed Kylo's feeling of otherness.
Hux heard Kylo reenter the room rather than saw him. He didn't bother to sit up or turn his head as he waited.
Kylo climbed onto the bed and braced himself over Hux's body. Hux could see that he'd pulled his hair back into a semi-neat bun. It was probably the best he could down with his range of motion.
“The car is downstairs,” Kylo said, not offering any explanation or comment. He'd been taking time to pace and cool down more and more often instead of losing his temper. Kylo had spent so many years feeding the rage inside himself, Hux found it a wonder that he had so much control over it. He could handle pacing even when Kylo paced in his heavy boots at three in the morning when he couldn't sleep. It was progress.
“You look handsome,” Hux said, reaching up to run the backs of his fingers along Kylo's cheek. The too smooth skin of the scar didn't bother Hux at all. He'd never touched Kylo differently because of it, but it had taken months for Kylo to stop flinching when he accidentally came in contact with it.
“You're full of shit,” Kylo said, but he didn't pull away until Hux started trying to adjust his suit again. “Stop it,” he chastised and got off the bed.
Hux got to his feet as well and took one last look in the mirror. They were both in black suits, though Hux had gone more traditional with a white shirt as well as a waistcoat. Kylo was strictly black save for the deep red tie Hux had insisted on. They looked like trouble.
Kylo followed Hux out of the bedroom and through the apartment. Verne was sleeping on the couch with the TV playing in the background.
“Did you walk him?” Hux asked, making sure he had his wallet and keys.
Kylo nodded. “Left him food for when he wakes up,” he said, locking the door behind them. “One of the nights will come by to walk him again later. He'll be fine.”
Hux didn’t argue. The dog was spoiled rotten by Ilan, and Kylo wasn’t much better about slipping him treats for no reason.
They walked down to the waiting town car and sat quietly on the drive over. Hux's hand rested in Kylo's, but they didn't talk or kiss or grope. They both had plenty to think or worry about.
As the car pulled up to the fancy restaurant, Kylo seemed to stop breathing. Hux ran his thumb over Kylo's hand. “We can leave whenever you want. We'll make an appearance and go if you'd rather,” he said.
“I'm fine,” Kylo practically growled.
“You don't have to be. I know I wouldn't get out of this car if my father was in there.”
“I'd kill him myself,” Kylo said softly.
“I'm not killing your mother or father for you,” Hux told him, kissing his shoulder.
Kylo snorted. “My mother would eat you alive,” Kylo said. That was something new too. About twenty percent of the time he'd call Leia his mother, never mom. Han was always Han, but on occasion he'd acknowledge that Leia birthed him.
“I'll have you know that I survived incarceration. I can certainly survive your mother,” Hux said, nudging Kylo with his elbow.
“You clearly don't know her well,” Kylo said, getting out of the car before Hux could retort.
Hux got out as well, and Kylo was waiting on the curb for him. He stood tall, none of the tentativeness he'd displayed the entire afternoon. He didn’t take Hux’s arm or anything particularly demonstrative of their relationship, but he ran his fingertips down Hux’s arm before falling into step beside him.
The restaurant that was hosting the party was large, and it looked like they’d rented out the entire place for Han’s party. It wasn’t exactly the sort of thing Hux and Kylo had made a habit of attending since they’d been reunited. They mostly tried to keep to themselves and run their business.
It wasn’t like they didn’t come into contact with half of the people here. Kylo had provided security for several local and state politicians in the last few months as primaries became heated. They just weren’t invited to these people’s parties unless they had an earpiece in and a bulletproof vest under their suits.
“I hope it’s an open bar,” Hux said as they reached the top of the stairs and were ushered into the dimly lit interior.
Kylo grunted. He didn’t drink. Hux wasn’t sure if it was by choice or if that too unsettled his stomach. Kylo had shown no inclination since Hux had moved back into his apartment, and Hux didn’t bother to pry. The man was allowed to make his own decisions. However, Hux would not be giving up the social lubricant any time soon if he was expected to attend functions like this.
The restaurant was packed as they walked into the main dining room. Music played in the corner and more uniforms could be seen in one room than Hux had ever seen in his life. The entire force must have been in here. Hux swallowed thickly. He had been so focused on Kylo’s discomfort with seeing his parents that he’d completely neglected to think about how he might react to being in a room full of policemen after what had happened.
All eyes seemed to turn to them as well. Hundreds of people seemed to stop what they were doing and look to the door as they entered.
Hux kept his shoulders squared and his face neutral, but he hated this. He remembered the respect in people’s eyes when they used to look at him. He remembered how people had always fallen over each other to greet him at events. World famous trauma surgeon, eligible bachelor, wealthy philanthropist. Not a single one of those titles applied to him anymore, and gone was the awe people felt toward him. Now he was a fraud, a criminal, a thug’s sextoy.
Glancing to his left, Kylo stood tall like a gargoyle watching the crowd without moving but seeing all. People didn’t look at him for long. Even the seasoned officers seemed to shy away from staring at him. Hux wondered what was going on in Kylo’s head. He wondered if he felt this crushing sense of failure, or if Kylo had already faced these demons years ago and could face this crowd without feeling the weight of their gazes.
Hux moved when Kylo did. Kylo walked straight across the room in the direction of the bar. People moved out of his way, and Kylo never turned or shimmied through the crowd. Even the brass stepped out of his way. Hux couldn’t deny he was impressed.
“He wants a scotch, old and neat,” Kylo told the bartender who scrambled to wait on him. One of the detectives down the bar looked like he was going to complain until he saw who was standing there.
The man’s partner was not so forgiving. “They’ll let anyone into this won’t they?” the guy asked his friend. Hux ignored them, but they drew Kylo’s attention. “Shouldn’t you still be locked up?” the guy called over to Hux.
Hux put his hand on Kylo’s forearm instead of reacting to the jab. Honestly, Phasma’s greetings were always much more colorful than this and implied that he should still be locked up. This man was far from original.
“I would watch my tongue were I you,” Kylo said, keeping his voice low and steady.
“Buddy, you’re in a room full of cops, what are you going to do?” the man asked. He partner punched him in the arm and shook his head.
Kylo just smiled at him. His smiles had been unpleasant before the extensive scarring and clouded eye, now he used them to his full advantage. The muscles didn’t cooperate entirely, and the blind eye never closed right so while the left side squinted with the smile, the right side remained wide open and vacant. Hux had come to find it charming because he knew they were not easy for Kylo yet he still bestowed them, but objectively he knew most wouldn’t—not that Kylo ever used it to be charming on anyone but Hux.
The bartender returned with Hux’s scotch, and Hux took a long sip of it. It was good, smooth and full of character. It was probably something Han enjoyed, though Hux was inclined to believe the rough man would drink anything with enough alcohol in it. Perhaps that had something to do with Kylo’s aversion.
“Let’s find Lando,” Hux said, stepping away from the bar. He didn’t question for a second whether Kylo would follow him.
Kylo fell into step with him as Hux tried to find either the table they would be seated at or a friendly face. They still got looks, but Kylo was completely in guard dog mode, and Hux could relax. It was strange the things he could face with Kylo at his back. He’d always imagined the man to be a weakness, but in the past six months Kylo had become his strength in many ways.
It was Leia that they found first. Clearly, she’d heard the murmurs that had been traveling through the restaurant since they’d arrived not five minutes earlier. She looked good in a blue dress and blazer. There was no denying that she was in charge as always.
She smiled as she approached them, and Hux greeted her with a kiss to each cheek. “Governor Organa,” he said as he pulled back.
“Doctor Hux,” she said, smiling sardonically.
“I’m no longer a doctor,” he said though he still kept the title when he wanted to hold it over people.
“I don’t know how much longer I’ll be governor for, so I think we’re even,” she told him.
“Your opponent won’t make it to the election,” Kylo said ominously from just behind Hux’s shoulder. Hux jabbed him in the ribs, but Kylo didn’t so much as flinch.
“Kylo,” Leia said, sounding nearly breathless.
Hux wondered how many hours she’d spent in front of the mirror practicing that. It almost sounded natural as she said it, like she wasn’t even fighting herself to call him Ben.
Kylo didn’t respond. Hux could practically feel the tension rolling off of him, and once again Hux was planted firmly in the middle of it.
“It’s good to see you,” Leia said, clearly wanting to take her son in her arms but holding herself back, if only barely.
Hux glanced over his shoulder to see what Kylo would do, but before Kylo could even open his mouth he was accosted by a man even larger than himself. Hux’s mouth fell open as Kylo was enveloped in a massive bear hug by a man that must have been close to seven feet tall and had enough hair to be mistaken for a sasquatch.
Kylo tensed up, but he didn’t fight it. The man shouted some thickly accented nonsense as he squeezed Kylo tightly and lifted him off the ground. When he finally put Kylo on his feet, he grabbed Kylo’s face and kissed his cheeks, completely disregarding the scaring.
“Benny! Look at you,” the man said, stroking his entire massive palm over the side of Kylo’s face. “All grown up.”
“Uncle Chewie,” Kylo said, arms down at his sides. His shoulders lost some of their tension as “Uncle Chewie” continued to fuss over him.
Hux glanced over at Leia who still looked on the brink of showing emotions that she never let the public see.
The man started talking in what Hux thought might be Polish, and to Hux’s complete astonishment, Kylo began to converse with him in the same language. After a few minutes, Chewie slapped Kylo on the back again hard enough to even make Kylo move with it, then he said something about going to get a drink.
When Kylo turned back to them, there was a red flush to his cheeks and his breathing was a little unsteady, but he didn’t look upset.
“Mother,” Kylo said, his voice mostly flat, but there was emotion behind the word.
Leia stepped forward, forgetting reservation and hugging Kylo as his uncle had. Perhaps she couldn’t lift him off the ground or even reach her arms around his shoulders, but it was a fierce hug.
Kylo tentatively wrapped his arms around Leia’s shoulders, looking at Hux over his mother and looking lost and afraid. Hux just gave him a steady look. He couldn’t hold his hand or whisper encouragements here.
“It’s so good to see you. I’ve been worried,” Leia said, not letting Kylo go even as she pulled back enough to look at him.
“I’m fine,” Kylo said, curling his shoulders in just enough to lessen the height disparity a little. Hux doubted that Leia would allow anyone to bend to speak to her.
Leia pursed her lips, clearly having things to say, but holding them in. “I hope the Doctor has been treating you well,” she said, running her hand up and down Kylo’s arm.
Kylo shrugged, clearly not ready to discuss his relationships with her.
“I heard that you started your own business, and it’s doing well,” she tried a different approach.
“It pays the bills,” Kylo said, and Hux rolled his eyes. Kylo wouldn’t know a bill if it hit him in the face. Hux handled all of their finances, not trusting Kylo to do it.
“It’s going swimmingly, Governor. Kylo’s brilliant at determining the proper security for any given situation. We’ve had nothing but positive feedback since we started, and our client base is growing rapidly,” Hux said, stepping in and sliding his hand behind Kylo to rest at the small of his back.
“That’s wonderful news,” she said as though she wasn’t already completely aware.
“I like it,” Kylo said without prompt.
It surprised Hux as much as it clearly surprised Leia. Kylo did nothing but grumble about the constraints of a legitimate business even though he clearly worked well within them when he wasn’t going out of his way to be contrary. He worked tirelessly with Hux to get the thing started, but until now it had always been ‘Hux’s idea’ or ‘Hux’s project.’
“I’m glad,” Leia told him. “We should find our seats. Han will be here any minute,” she said, taking Kylo’s hand and leading him to their table. Kylo let himself be led, and Hux followed them quietly.
Leia showed them where to sit, and Kylo sat down beside her. Hux slipped off to get himself another drink while Kylo was acting rather docile. He knew that could end at any moment, but he trusted Kylo to keep hold of himself.
Hux watched them from the closest bar, and he was shocked to see Leia reach up and run her fingers along Kylo’s scar while he was waiting for his drink. Hux relaxed as Leia laughed at something Kylo had said even as her hand continued to cup his face. He turned back to the bar and flagged down the bartender for a word.
When Han arrived, all attention was drawn to him and Lando who walked in with him. Hux returned to Kylo’s side as everyone rushed to offer Han their congratulations.
“How are you?” Hux asked as he sat down beside Kylo.
“My hands are numb, and my face feels too tight,” Kylo told him.
Hux took one of Kyo’s hands in his and rubbed it under the table. It wouldn’t fix the anxiety, but it was the best he could do until Kylo decided it was time to go.
“I’ll have to give you a thorough check up in my office when we get out of here,” Hux whispered into Kylo’s ear. Kylo shivered in response. “I’ll have to check your reflexes, check for any irregularities in your organs,” Hux continued.
“Don’t get me hard. I’m going to have to hug Han in a couple minutes,” Kylo said, turning his head to bump it against Hux’s cheek gently.
“Han already heard me wringing you dry after giving you a sponge bath,” Hux reminded him.
Kylo moaned softly just at the reminder. “Please,” Kylo pleaded, though his hand still gripped Hux’s tightly.
“You’re doing well,” Hux told him, lifting his free arm to rub Kylo’s broad back soothingly. Kylo nodded, but he didn’t say anything.
He was clearly hanging onto his composure by a thread. Hux was amazed by how well Kylo was holding himself together even if beneath the surface he was just trying to keep his head above water. This reunion couldn’t be easy on any of them, but Kylo had the most to lose.
Kylo was struggling with who and what he was. Hux had helped him create a legitimate business, but that didn’t change what Kylo was at heart. No one looked at him or the knights and saw businessmen. They saw a means to an end. The same went with who Kylo saw himself as. Snoke was gone, but so much of what he’d taught Kylo and had beaten into him remained. It wasn’t all bad. It wasn’t like Kylo hated everything about himself, but there was an undeniable pull in two completely different directions. Kylo had to decide who he was, and at least in Hux’s eyes it was neither Snoke’s protege nor Han and Leia’s son.
Kylo had to realize that he’d shaped himself in many ways. He’d survived without anyone else’s help, and that man had overcome his parents’ insufficient attention and Snoke’s brainwashing. That was the man who’d used Snoke to gain power and plotted his own coup. That was the man who had sought Hux out to fill a need he couldn’t trust a lover to fill. Kylo was instinctual and brilliant, but since Hux had known him he’d been pulled in two different directions when it was clear that neither were in his best interest.
Hux was shaken from his reverie as Kylo straightened up and rose from his seat. Hux looked over to see Han standing with Leia not ten feet away.
Kylo held out his hand for Han, and Han took it, pulling Kylo in for a firm pat on the back. No words were exchanged, but Hux could see that Han was misty eyed. They just nodded at each other as everyone began taking their seats.
Uncle Chewie, who Hux was informed had been Han’s partner, sat between Han and Kylo. Hux sat on Kylo’s other side, and beside Hux was Lando who greeted him with familiarity. Beyond Lando, there were other ranking officers of the department and Leia sat on Han’s other side.
It was tense at first. People didn’t seem to know what to say with Hux and Kylo at the table. Chewie didn’t seem to care at all, and he spoke animatedly to Kylo in Polish. Kylo only translated parts of it, but Hux got the impression they were talking about him. He didn’t stop them. Kylo wasn’t one to speak ill of those he was close to. He’d argue with them, but he wouldn’t ridicule them to others. Hux couldn’t say he was so virtuous.
There were a lot of toasts to Han. Several people stood to tell stories about working with him, and there was plenty of good natured ribbing. Hux watched Kylo carefully as each new person approached to give their story at Han’s side. It became clear to Hux that Kylo felt left out.
Dinner was being brought around, and the stories seemed to have settled for a time as people started to eat and drink. Hux was shocked when Kylo stood up.
He cleared his throat, but everyone’s attention was already on him. Hux sat particularly still, not knowing what was about to happen. Was Kylo going to accuse his father of being neglectful and unloving? Was he going to lose his temper? Hux prayed he wasn’t about to commit assault in a room full of police officers.
“Leia hadn’t had me yet when Han became a cop,” Kylo started by saying. There was no glass of champagne in his hand for a toast, instead his hands were balled at his sides. “Han worked a lot of overtime when I was young. Leia wasn’t exactly well liked in political circles most of my life, so Han was forced to work extra shifts to pay the bills. I didn’t understand that as a child. I just understood that Dad was never home, and Mom was always stressed. Being a child, I knew with certainty that I was the cause of this,” Kylo said.
No one spoke, but the entire room looked about as tense as Hux felt right then. Even Leia looked like she was gripping the edge of the table.
“I remember Uncle Chewie spending a lot of time at our house when I was young too. Dad was always happier when he was around. They’d share “war stories” over beers, and while they were probably very embellished, they were incredible to me,” Kylo explained. He ran his fingers through his hair and rubbed at the back of his head where his name was embedded in the skin.
“When I was about nine, Dad made detective. He got a fancy new cruiser, and he was showing it off to everyone. He let me drive it. It went something like, ‘Benny, you’re a man now, and as a man I’ll let you take her out for a ride.’ I was about four and a half feet tall. Dad was out of his mind, but true to his word, he took me too an empty field and put me behind the wheel. Two minutes behind the wheel, and I’d managed to nearly kill us both and damage the front end of the car against the only tree for miles. Han was furious, but he made me promise never to tell Mom. I don’t know what he told his bosses, but we never talked about it again, but for the next five years more than anything else I wanted to be a detective just like him. I got why he was so happy behind the wheel, lights flashing, feeling like nothing could touch you, except maybe that tree that didn’t have the sense to grow somewhere else. What, I am trying to say is that I may not have a lot of stories I can share about Han and me. We didn’t go fishing. We didn’t go hunting up at the cabin like some of you. We didn’t share war stories over beers. We haven’t even spoken much in years, but I understand why he loved what he did and why it was such a big part of who he is,” Kylo didn’t offer a toast. That wasn’t really his style. He also didn’t sit back down. He walked away from the table even as people gave polite applause when they realized he’d finished.
More than a few people looked shocked that Kylo was related to Han and Leia. Others just seemed relieved that blood hadn’t been shed. Han and Leia were both doing a poor job of hiding their emotions, probably equal parts overcome by Kylo’s recognition of them as his parents and by the gravity of his words. There had clearly been an unsaid, “and I understand why he could never have loved me as much as the job,” but Hux was proud Kylo hadn’t said it to the entire room.
Someone on the other side of the table cleared their throat awkwardly, but Hux ignored them. Lando elbowed Hux in the arm as Hux continued to stare at Han and Leia. “Forget them, they’ve got a room full of friends. Go make sure he’s okay,” Lando whispered.
Hux had every intention of making sure that Kylo was okay, but he hadn’t been expecting that at all. He hadn’t even expected Kylo to make it to the dinner portion of the event before deciding to leave, never mind make a speech. Hux supposed he’d asked for it though when he told Kylo to either let them know how he felt or live with their constant desire to see him.
Getting up, Hux walked calmly in the direction Kylo had gone. He could feel all eyes on him, but he didn’t care. They weren’t judging him, and even if they were, it didn’t matter now. Hux had more important things to deal with.
One of the waiters pointed him in the direction Kylo had gone, and Hux quickly found his way to the bathroom. The washroom attendant was standing just outside the door, looking a bit putout. Hux reached into his back pocket and removed a couple large bills.
“No one else enters,” he said, stepping around the man and into the bathroom. “It would seem we are incapable of attending a social function without locking ourselves in the public restroom,” Hux said as he shut the door behind him.
Kylo was standing at the long vanity, staring at his reflection in the mirror. He didn’t say anything to Hux’s remark, but he dropped his head and looked down at the sink instead.
Hux approached slowly, but Kylo quickly leaned back to make room for Hux to slip between him and the vanity. Hux was expecting to be lifted up and placed right on top of the vanity, but Kylo spun him to face it and leaned over him, arms braced on either side of him.
Looking into the mirror, Hux could see Kylo watching him. They stared at each other through the glass for over a minute before Kylo tipped his head forward and pressed a kiss to his neck. He wrapped his arm around Hux’s waist and held him flush against his body.
“When did you stop wanting to be a police officer?” Hux asked, resting his hands on the vanity, and clasping his one with Kylo’s.
“When they sent me to my uncle’s school. I was testing off the charts, and they didn’t know what to do with me. I was too smart for my own good. I’d started tinkering with things while they were at work. I wasn’t like them. I just did things and didn’t care what the consequences were. I was bored and alone, and they sent me away rather than deal with it. Luke’s school was strict, and I had trouble making friends at that point. I was the headmaster’s nephew, and mom was starting to make waves in politics again, and no one wanted to get too close. Dad visited a couple times. Offered to take me for a ride, and put the sirens on, but it was too little too late. I asked to go home with him, and he said I couldn’t. That was the last time I saw him before I went with Snoke,” Kylo said, rocking against Hux.
Hux nodded. He’d known. He’d known as much as he needed to in order to understand that Kylo had never felt that he belonged. Hearing this didn’t change anything, but it made Hux understand why Kylo was worried that it could have all been so different. Hell, if Han had taken him home for a damn weekend, it sounded like Kylo would have thrown himself at the opportunity. In the end, he had been so desperate to be a part of something, he’d thrown himself at the first offer he got. Snoke had seen that weakness a mile away.
“I’m sorry I asked you to come face this. You shouldn’t have had to listen to all of that,” Hux said, lifting his arm and resting it over the one Kylo had wrapped around his waist.
“I’m glad I did. I needed to see that. The longer you’re away, the more you start to wonder if you made it all up. Did I imagine all of those nights I ate cold pizza or read myself bedtime stories because dad had overtime and mom had a campaign to run for someone? Had I imagined how happy they were doing their own thing? Life with Snoke wasn’t all that different. He wasn’t supposed to love me though. He was just a rich old man willing to take me away.”
Hux squeezed his arm tightly.
“Maybe we can have dinner with them alone sometime,” Kylo said, pressing Hux’s hips to the vanity.
“After all of that, you want to have dinner with them?” Hux asked, confused.
“I’m not nine anymore. If they want to be parents, let them prove it. I don’t need them anymore, but they aren’t going to believe it until they see it. I’ll forever be the kid who made a bomb with things in the garage while they were at work.”
Hux snorted. Of course, that would be what Kylo would do when he was left to his own devices. It also explained how he burned down the entire school before firefighters could get the blaze under control.
Hux turned in his arms, wrapping his own around Kylo. “You’re missing the meal I ordered special from the kitchen,” Hux said, just standing there against the sinks.
Kylo looked up at the ceiling and held Hux a little tighter. “My parents never brought me to these things when I was young, but if we went to anything they’d never think of ordering anything special for me. I needed to fit in, didn’t matter if I was ten or two. What am I missing to breakdown in the bathroom?” Kylo asked.
“Salmon,” Hux said, running his hands up and down Kylo’s back. He wasn’t quite sure this constituted a ‘breakdown’ as Kylo had called it. Kylo seemed fine, and Hux had become an expert at reading the man’s most subtle moods. “Would you like to go home?” he asked. They could walk out the back, and no one would know.
“No. Go eat, I’ll be out in a few minutes,” Kylo said.
“I don’t want to leave you,” Hux told him.
“I just want to think…”
“I can be quiet,” Hux told him.
Kylo made a noise that sounded skeptical, but he rested his chin on Hux’s shoulder and just stood there. They were both quiet, just holding each other. It was far different than the frantic attempts at sex in the handicapped stall. Hux couldn’t say he minded.
“Leia wasn’t repulsed by the scar...or my eye,” Kylo said, remaining right where he was.
Hux smiled though Kylo couldn’t see it. “I’m sure the scar is nothing after that headline about me being found not guilty because we’d been fucking in the handicap stall during the fundraiser,” Hux replied. Phasma had the article framed and hanging in his old office at the clinic, some fantastic reporting really.
Kylo nipped him for his humor. Hux definitely deserved it. “Chewie likes you, said you look like you can handle me,” Kylo said, ignoring Hux’s comments.
“Is that all he said?”
“We were just catching up. Chewie watched me a lot of weekends when my parents wanted to get away. I was closer to him than Han really.”
“Then why didn’t you talk to him when you were younger?”
“He was Han’s partner. Would you go behind Poe’s back to talk to Finn?”
“I suppose not. Have you finished thinking?”
“Yeah, go on,” Kylo said, pushing Hux out the door. Kylo’s demeanor changed as soon as the door opened. He stood his full height again, looking imposing and unaffected. Hux knew it had taken Ren years of practice, but it always amazed him to see the instant transformation from the man he could be with Hux to the one he faced the world as.
They walked back to their seats with their shoulders touching. When they arrived, their plates were covered to keep them warm. Lando and Chewie were now sitting next to each other though, leaving either Kylo or Hux to sit beside Han. They were engaged in a heated argument over very large helpings of some vile smelling drink.
“Don’t take it if they offer you any,” Kylo whispered in Hux’s ear as he pulled Hux’s seat out for him.
“What is it?” Hux asked.
“Don’t know, but I tried it when I was a eleven, and I still haven’t recovered,” Kylo said, settling in.
“How are you feeling?” Leia asked them as the staff removed the covers from their plates.
“I’m fine,” Kylo said, looking down at the steak in front of him and the salmon in front of Hux.
“Really?” Leia asked, but she was clearly addressing Hux.
“I’m not his doctor anymore. If he says he’s fine, you’ll have to take him at his word,” Hux told her, switching the plates because he knew Kylo wouldn’t do it himself. Even with all of his progress, some things would never change.
Hux was completely shocked when Kylo leaned in and brushed his lips against Hux’s shoulder. It hurt for him to purse his lips for a kiss, so he often just pressed his nose to Hux or passed his lips over his shoulder. He’d become big on nuzzling as well. Kylo adapted to everything. His ability to survive was greater than anyone else Hux had ever known.
Kylo started eating immediately. Hux watched him cut the fish with his fork then scoop up some mashed potatoes before eating the combination. Hux cut into his own steak. It was cooked perfectly, and he savored it as Kylo did an admirable job of eating like a civilized person beside him. He didn’t always make the effort when it was just the two of them.
“Since when did you eat fish?” Han asked, sounding skeptical.
Kylo just shrugged. He’d only gotten a taste for it when he realized it was easy to chew and didn’t do hell on his digestive system. It had taken a lot of convincing on Hux’s part, but it had paid off. While Kylo’s digestion had gotten better, the muscle damage in his face still made chewing anything remotely tough a problem.
“You should come fishing up at the cabin with your uncle and me,” Han said, swirling scotch around in his glass.
Chewie and Lando were becoming more and more animated on Hux’s other side. Hux noticed that several people around the table had disappeared while they were away, and a good number had left around the room. There was still a massive turnout, but a few less than before.
“I don’t fish,” Kylo told him.
“Everybody fishes,” Han told him.
“I think you’re mixing up your children’s literature, Han,” Leia commented, clearly not one for fishing herself as she rolled her eyes. “Maybe Kylo would rather just eat the fish.”
“The fishing is the best part of fish,” Han told her, sounding completely appalled.
“For old men and drunks,” she retorted.
“You’re just upset we don’t take you up to the cabin to fish with us,” Han said.
“I’d rather go shooting,” Leia told him.
“I’d go shooting,” Kylo interjected, a forkful of fish and potatoes balanced halfway to his mouth.
That got the attention of everyone around the table who had been politely pretending not to listen. Hux rested his hand on Kylo’s thigh beneath the table as a reminder to tread carefully.
“That so?” Han asked.
“I’d need to borrow a gun, but yes,” Kylo said, completely unbothered by the extra attention.
“I’ll see what I can do. Maybe we could shoot some trap. Leia’s particularly good at that though, and she gloats,” Han said. Leia just gave him a smug look.
The tension surrounding the table never ebbed throughout the evening, but Kylo and his parents seemed to navigate their strange relationship with growing ease. There wasn’t any level of affection. Hux doubted there ever would be too much of that, but they spoke freely.
Han and Leia seemed ready to weather Kylo’s anger. Hux didn’t know if they finally realized that they had cultivated it themselves or if they just wanted Kylo back badly enough to deal with anything he threw at them. Time would tell, and it would probably determine whether or not Kylo ever did accept them as his family.
Eventually, things pretty much devolved into a drinking contest, and Hux decided it was time to get home. Kylo said his goodbyes as Hux spoke quietly to Leia.
“I wasn’t expecting you’d be able to get him to come,” she said, sipping her tonic water.
“He makes his own decisions. I simply told him that I planned to be in attendance.”
“I find that hard to believe,” she retorted.
“This may come as a shock to you, Governor, but Kylo has been making his own decisions his entire life. If he chose to face you today, he did it for his own reasons and nothing I could’ve said would have changed his mind. I thought for a long time that Kylo just took orders and never had his own thoughts, but that was foolish of me. Such foolishness cost Snoke, and it could very easily cost you a chance at getting to know Kylo if you continue to underestimate him,” Hux said, finishing off his own drink.
“How do you know my son so well, Hux? He wasn’t easy get to know when he was ten years old. I can’t imagine he’s gotten any easier decode,” she said, not sounding particularly concerned with Hux’s words.
“I just had to touch the right place, and he opened up,” Hux said, rising from his seat as Kylo approached.
“We’re going,” Kylo told Leia, as if it hadn’t been obvious.
“It was good to see you. Good luck with your business,” she told him.
Kylo nodded, and they stood there awkwardly again like they didn’t know if they should hug or shake hands or something else entirely.
Hux huffed, leaning in to kiss Leia on the cheek. “Please stop texting me. It drives him up the wall. Either get his number or hire a private investigator like any other self-respecting politician,” Hux said, before walking away.
He waited out front for their car to pull up. He didn’t bother to look back to see if Kylo had given in to hugging her or even giving her his private line. It wasn’t his business. Kylo had to make those choices for himself. Once he had, Hux would support him.
Kylo stepped outside not two minutes later. He adjusted his tie before taking Hux’s arm and walking down to the car.
“Did you give it to her?”
“I told her I’d consider it, but until then she could pester Ilan,” Kylo said.
“The poor man takes his first real vacation, and you give his phone number away to your meddlesome mother. No wonder the man preferred prison,” Hux said, letting Kylo open the door for him.
“Serves him right for defecting,” Kylo said.
“He still works for the company. He just helps me more than you,” Hux said, shaking his head.
“He’s a traitor,” Kylo told him, sliding in beside him.
Hux rolled his eyes. “You have lipstick on your cheek,” he pointed out.
Kylo sighed. “Get it off, please.”
Hux laughed, removing his handkerchief and rubbing the rather neutral color off of Kylo’s cheek. “I’m shocked by how well today went,” Hux admitted, kissing Kylo’s cheek himself.
“You didn’t think I could handle it.”
“I didn’t think this would be how you chose to handle it. I wouldn’t have thought any less of you if you chose to punch him, but I’m rather pleased you chose this instead,” Hux told him, running his fingers down Kylo’s chest.
“My chest feels a little tight,” Kylo told him.
“I’ll have to listen to it when we get home.”
Kylo hummed softly, wrapping his arm around Hux and resting his head against Hux’s. Hux continued to gently touch him as the rode home, but neither of them spoke.
It was nearly ten o’clock when they finally walked through the door of their apartment. Hux was exhausted, and he knew that Kylo must be as well.
“Check up now or in the morning?” Hux asked, already knowing Kylo’s answer would be both.
Kylo just ushered him through the entryway into the living room.
Hux stopped in his tracks as they entered to find Ilan sitting on the sofa with his boots kicked up on the coffee table. Verne was lying underneath the bridge his legs made. Beside his feet was what looked to be a bowling ball bag.
“I thought you were in Aruba,” Hux said. Ilan had left only a few days ago. It was supposed to be a ten day trip.
“Don’t you want to know what’s in the bag?” Ilan asked. He was smiling. It was that cold, unpleasant show of teeth that Hux imagined haunted more than one person’s nightmares.
“Do I?” Hux retorted. He could feel Kylo behind him, remaining just out of reach. “What’s going on? Is this where you both turn on me?” Hux asked, turning his back to Ilan in order to confront Kylo.
“It’s a gift,” Kylo told him. He looked tentative as he maintained his distance.
“A gift? I don’t bowl.” Hux didn’t like this one bit. Was this revenge for dragging Kylo to the dinner?
“You won’t be bowling with what’s in that...at least I don’t take you for that sort,” Ilan said, sounding as level as Hux had always known him to be.
Hux stepped forward, reaching for the bag. Ilan tossed him a box of his own gloves before he could touch it though. Hux frowned, pulling a pair out and handing the box back over. He pulled them on and unzipped the bag.
An unmistakable smell of death came from the bag as Hux peered inside. His father’s lifeless eyes stared right back at him. His hair was neatly combed as he’d always kept him, and though his cheeks were pale he looked perfectly preserved. Hux almost considered asking how deep the bag went because certainly this was a trick.
“Christ!” Hux said, stumbling back into Kylo, who held him upright. “What the hell?” he asked, more shocked by the strange souvenir than upset by it.
“I told you I’d kill him,” Kylo said as though it hadn’t just been a passing thing, a statement of loyalty not an actual promise.
“And you thought I’d like his head?” Hux asked, looking into the bag again. “You strangled him?” More than a medical opinion, that just seemed Ilan’s style.
“Wanted him to see me before he died, know God or whatever wasn’t going to save him,” Ilan told him. There were those teeth again. However, he rubbed Verne’s ears as he spoke which diffused the look.
Hux shook his head. There was relief, but more than anything he didn’t know what to feel. He’d spent so much of his life trying to impress the man that even his burning hatred for him was tainted.
“He was running. The feds found a whole slew of crimes he’d committed over the years. It wasn’t just Snoke he sold out for. He wanted to skip the country before they could close in on him,” Kylo explained.
“And now what? Do we mount him on the wall?” Hux asked. He felt laughter attempt to bubble up. He would not become hysterical, not because of this useless man.
“I’ll handle the head. If you want the skull I can get rid of the rest of it…” Ilan was always so helpful.
“Having my father’s skull displayed in my apartment might be a little suspicious.”
“Not if it’s on the skeleton in your…”
“I do not want my dead father’s skull staring at us while we fuck. He may deserve it, but I certainly don’t. Use it for golf practice, I don’t care. He isn’t welcome here,” Hux said, zipping the bag back up. “Thank you, both of you. It was a...thoughtful gift. I feel that we owe you a real vacation, Ilan,” Hux said, pulling the gloves off and handing them to the knight for disposal.
“I don’t particularly like the beach. I rather like it right here,” he said, looking like he was in no hurry to even leave their apartment.
“Well make yourself at home. I have an appointment,” Hux said, leaving Ilan to what he was unquestionably an expert at. There hadn’t been a single drop of blood in that bag, and even the stench hadn’t been overpowering. The man had a talent for murder. This was his soft spoken prison mate who preferred knitting over his regular job. No wonder the man had needed a few months respite.
Kylo followed Hux to the renovated office. “Get inside and get undressed. There are robes under the table. The doctor will see you shortly,” Hux said, holding the door open. Kylo crowded him against the doorway, seeking out a kiss.
“We don’t have to. It’s been a long night, and you weren’t prepared for what you just saw. It was negligent of me to spring it on you. I...I forget you aren’t like us. We can just go to bed, hold each other,” Kylo offered, clearly worried for Hux’s mental health perhaps a little too late.
“Go inside and get ready,” Hux repeated. He kissed Kylo softly, letting Kylo nudge at him before stepping away. “I think we both need this tonight,” Hux added as Kylo follow his order.
Ilan made eye contact with Hux as Hux let the door close once Kylo was inside. The man just smiled at him. Hux rolled his eyes and went to his room to find his coat and stethoscope. It would seem that the knights had no shame when it came to sex, nor did they care what the others got up to.
Hux took his suit jacket off but left the rest of the suit on. He’d always worn a suit under his lab coat, and just because he wasn’t a real doctor anymore didn’t mean he was going to start wearing scrubs in Kylo’s fantasies.
He monitored himself as he went to the closet to collect his lab coat. His hands weren’t shaking, and his heart wasn’t racing. He didn’t feel sweat prickling at the back of his neck, and he didn’t feel uncomfortably warm or cold. He’d just stared at his father’s lifeless face, and he hadn’t felt a thing other than surprise.
“Forgive me mother,” he whispered, pulling on his lab coat and wrapping his stethoscope around his neck. Hux wondered how this was what his life had become. He’d gone from lauded surgeon to a man who only played one in the bedroom. He’d gone from a man who prided himself in the family he’d come from to an orphan of sorts.
He shook his head. It wasn’t worth worrying about. His anxiety had been much lower since he was released from jail. He didn’t overthink things any less, but he certainly had few stressors in his life. For one there was no Snoke. Before his demise, his father hadn’t contacted him since his release. The clinic was out of his hands, and there were no long days in the OR. He’d stopped having nightmares about Kylo or him dying on his operating table. Working with Kylo wasn’t a low stress job either, but Hux had stopped feeling alone in every responsibility he had.
Ilan was a competent assistant, and he didn’t mind arguing on the phone for an hour if Hux had other things that required attention. Kylo, despite all attempts to seem otherwise, made sure that Hux had the reports and figures he needed well before Hux could need to go looking for them.
It wasn’t his clinic. It wasn’t the foundation or the OR, but Hux was starting to think that it wasn’t the worst legacy he could have. There had been nothing but good reports about their company since they launched it, and it certainly afforded him some peace of mind knowing he had Kylo’s back even if it was from behind a desk most days.
Hux walked out of the bedroom, shaking off his introspection. Kylo was waiting.
Ilan was no longer sitting on the couch, and Verne and the bag had gone with him. Hux felt something loosen in his chest. His father was gone. He had no doubt that Ilan would have the feds searching across the globe to catch some money trail or something left by his “father,” and nothing would ever come back to them. Hux smiled. They were both finally free.
“Mr. Ren, what brings you to my clinic this evening?” Hux said, stepping into what had once been his personal office. The roleplay had been growing on Hux the last six months. It didn’t really turn him on, but there was something comforting about it.
Kylo was sitting on the table in nothing but one of the oversized black hospital gowns he’d probably bought online. They’d come with the new office, and Hux wasn’t about to ask questions. If that’s what Kylo wanted to wear then he was welcome to.
“Not feeling well,” Kylo said. He was never specific, and had this been a real appointment it would’ve driven Hux mad. However, the vagueness allowed Hux more room to play with.
“I see. When did this start?” Hux asked, walking over to the counter and washing his hands before pulling on a pair of gloves. He made sure to snap them loudly as he watched Kylo.
Kylo shuddered at the sound, and Hux couldn’t help but smirk. It wasn’t so much predictable as a button that needed to be pressed before they continued. Hux had grown to love how such a simple sound could have such an impact on Kylo.
“A few days ago,” Kylo told him, his eyes following Hux’s every move.
“And what are you feeling?” Hux asked, removing a tongue depressor from the jar and approaching Kylo.
“Open your mouth,” Hux ordered, slipping the tongue depressor onto Kylo’s tongue as soon as he complied. He used his penlight to look at Kylo’s throat, then disposed of the little piece of wood. “Chin up,” Hux said, gently feeling Kylo’s throat.
Kylo moaned softly as Hux gently massaged down beneath his jaw. “Does that hurt?” Hux asked, feeling over the area again.
“I don’t feel any swelling,” Hux told him. “Raise your arms for me,” he said, keeping his tone authoritative.
Kylo lifted his arms a little, and Hux felt beneath his armpits. This caused Ren’s breathing to hitch as a shiver ran through his body. Hux thanked God that Kylo hadn’t really been sick since Snoke died because giving the man an actual physical was hell. Every single touch turned him on.
Hux hummed softly, moving his hand around just a little and pressing down. Nothing was swollen, but he’d learned Kylo particularly enjoyed this touch. “Breath deep for me,” he said, massaging a little deeper as Kylo took a breath. That seemed to do the trick as Kylo’s breath became a long moan.
“I’d like to listen to your lungs,” Hux told him, putting his stethoscope on properly and helping Kylo lower the front of his gown to reveal his chest. Hux breathed onto the chestpiece of the stethoscope before pressing it to Kylo’s chest. “Breathe deeply for me,” he said again, listening to Kylo’s lungs.
The telltale shudder was there as always, and Hux smiled to himself as he moved the chestpiece around. Kylo was gripping the table hard enough to make his knuckles go pale. Hux could admit there was something particularly powerful about being able to turn Kylo on so much by simply being competent as a doctor.
When he was finished, he put the stethoscope around his neck again. “Lie back,” he ordered, helping Kylo down onto the paper covered table. He lowered Kylo’s gown to his waist. He pressed his gloved fingers to Kylo’s abdomen and watched as Kylo practically writhed beneath his touch. He listened to Kylo’s bowels with the stethoscope as well, paying special attention to the area around his scar.
Kylo was breathing heavily by the time that Hux drew his gown back up and helped Kylo slide it onto his arms again. There was sweat forming on Kylo’s body, and he was clearly fighting to keep himself still.
“I’d like to take your temperature. You’re looking rather flush,” Hux said, walking over to the counter. He removed a thermometer from the cabinet and tore open the package just enough the it was ready when he was. He brought it over to the portable cart near the table, and then approached Kylo again. Kylo had his mouth open and eyes closed.
“I need you to roll onto your side for me,” Hux said.
Kylo’s mouth snapped shut just as his eyes opened wide. Hux didn’t react, guiding Kylo to roll onto his side without falling off the table. He guided Kylo’s legs to bend at the knee slightly then he flipped the gown back just enough to reveal Kylo’s bare ass.
“Just relax for me, Mr. Ren. This will only take a few minutes,” Hux said, picking up the thermometer and taking a drop of lube from the dispenser. He placed it on the tip of the tool then took another small pump and placed the finger over Kylo’s hole.
Kylo whimpered as the cool liquid touched him. “Just relax,” Hux reminded him carefully sliding the thermometer into Kylo with hardly any resistance.
“Easy for you to say,” Kylo said through gritted teeth.
It was unprofessional to smile at that, but thankfully Hux wasn’t a professional anymore. Hux approached Kylo’s back and began lightly massaging Kylo’s shoulders and back.
Kylo gasped at the touch. Hux continued to speak clinically as he touched Kylo, but he was more than a little turned on by how much Kylo was reacting.
Hux slipped his hand beneath the gown and around Kylo to inspect his erection and testicles. He hummed thoughtfully and told Kylo he’d need to take a closer look. He gave Kylo a few strokes, and Kylo cried out at the amount of stimulation he was receiving.
Hux drew his hand back to hold Kylo’s hip steady. “Breath out slowly for me,” Hux told him, taking hold of the thermometer and removing it carefully. He circled it around Kylo’s hole before lifting it to read it. He barely glanced at what it said, knowing for a fact that Kylo didn’t have a fever. However, he made all of the proper tuts and tsks as he brought it over to the counter and place it on the waiting pad.
“Perhaps a touch of flu,” Hux said, coming back. “Let’s get you on your back again and put your legs in the stirrups for me,” Hux said. Kylo had gone all out with the table. Why Kylo thought Hux needed stirrups in here clearly went more toward Kylo’s own fantasies than Hux’s actual needs.
Setting the stirrups in the right position, Hux helped Kylo rest his legs over them. He adjusted them to spread Kylo’s legs wide enough to have room to work while not making Kylo uncomfortably stretched.
Hux pushed the stool over, so he could sit between Kylo’s spread legs. This was one of his favorite things. The gown was long enough that it created a barrier, so Kylo couldn’t see what he was doing. He was forced to listen to Hux’s explanations and experience each touch not necessarily with prior warning.
“Do you check yourself?” Hux asked, pressing his palms against the insides of Kylo’s thighs more for the touch than to actually adjust Kylo further.
Kylo’s legs shook in their stirrups at Hux’s unexpected touch.
“How?” Kylo asked, fighting a groan.
“When you masturbate or while you shower. Do you feel yourself for any irregularities?”
“Like do I feel different when I come?” Kylo asked. It was still a wonder to Hux how little self care knowledge Kylo had for a man who was constantly put in harm’s way.
“No, I’m speaking about whether you ever examine your testicles for growths, abnormal tenderness…” Hux mentally made a note to show Kylo what to do when they were both more clear headed and awake. Not that they’d remain clear headed if Hux started touching Kylo’s testicles. It was worth a shot though.
Kylo didn’t respond. “I’m going to examine you now,” Hux told him.
Hux gently ran his fingers up Kylo’s thighs before cupping his testicles and gently rolling them between his fingers. Kylo moved a little, but that was enough for Hux to know how affected he was. Carefully lifting Kylo’s erection, Hux used his thumb to feel the base where it met his testicles.
Kylo’s hips bucked once, but he held himself still after that. Hux examined him thoroughly, noting how much fluid built up on the head of his cock as he touched Ren.
“I’m going to examine your prostate now,” Hux told him, standing up again.
Kylo nodded. His cheeks and chest were rosy with arousal, and Hux couldn’t deny that he was feeling more than a little hot under the collar at seeing Kylo so completely wound up.
Hux took a pump of the lubricant. “Relax,” he reminded Kylo. He pressed his finger into Kylo with little difficulty. Kylo had clearly taken a few minutes to loosen himself up while he waited for Hux. At least, he had some common sense. The first few times, Kylo had gone in unprepared and Hux had spent half the time preparing him...and then Kylo had come all over himself when Hux said he was going to examine his prostate. They’d both chalked it up to the amount of time they’d spent apart.
“Cough,” Hux said pressing his finger just right and locating Kylo’s prostate. Kylo coughe dramatically, and Hux tutted again.
Kylo coughed loudly, hips bucking as Hux stimulated his prostate gently.
“I’m going to need to take a sample,” Hux said, sounding serious.
Kylo looked at him with wide eyes.
“It’s perfectly routine. I’ll simply use an instrument to open you up in order to properly be able to stimulate your prostate. It’s nothing to worry about,” Hux told him.
Hux walked over to the cabinets and removed the speculum in its packaging. He also removed two dildos from a separate cabinet. One was a vibrator, but Hux suspected they wouldn’t even get that far. Kylo was already trembling from how aroused he was.
Hux carefully laid everything out on the portable tray and brought over a lamp to help him see by. There was no real need for it, but it certainly made everything seem more clinical for how bright it was.
“Are you prepared, Mr. Ren?”
Kylo nodded, but his legs trembled in the stirrups.
“Excellent. Don’t try to fight the instruments. It won’t be painful if you just relax,” Hux promised him, rubbing Kylo’s thigh.
Hux quickly changed gloves before beginning, taking the time to once again snap them loudly. Kylo jolted.
“You’re being a very good patient,” Hux praised, pressing his thumb and forefinger on either side of Kylo’s hole to spread it slightly. He reached over the tray and took a pump of lubricant then spread it liberally over Kylo’s hole. “You’re doing well. Just take a few deep breaths for me now,” Hux ordered as he prepared the speculum.
Moving his fingers back to spread Kylo open, he carefully lined the metal tool up. Hux could hear Kylo breathing raggedly. Kylo’s fingers were twisted in his gown, but he wasn’t tensed up. The speculum didn’t meet significant resistance as Hux very carefully pressed it into Kylo.
Kylo moaned loudly, and Hux had to pause a moment when Kylo’s breathing became increasingly erratic.
“Deep breaths,” Hux reminded him, and Kylo made an effort to lengthen them out. Hux pushed the speculum the rest of the way in then adjusted it slightly.
Kylo cried out as it shifted inside of him. Hux murmured several reassurances and praised how well he was doing as he very slowly began to open the speculum up. He was careful not to go too fast, but he could tell that Kylo was so aroused that it wouldn’t have made much of a difference.
“How are you feeling, Mr. Ren?” Hux asked once the speculum was sufficiently wide enough to fit either of the dildos.
“Hot,” Kylo said. His right arm was thrown over his eyes and his left was gripping his gown for dear life.
“That’s an unfortunate side effect of the fever, but perhaps this will give you some relief,” Hux told him.
“Okay,” Kylo rasped, adjusting his hips slightly which only caused him to moan again as the speculum shifted in him.
“I need you to remain still now as I perform the procedure,” Hux said, picking up the smaller of the two dildos.
“Yes, doctor,” Kylo agreed.
“That’s good. Now, breath slowly and let me know if you feel any discomfort,” Hux said. He covered the dildo in a condom then covered it in lubricant before sliding it into Kylo. Hux angled it expertly to gently stimulate Kylo’s prostate.
Kylo began to writhe almost immediately as Hux added pressure and variation to the stimulation. He didn’t touch Kylo’s cock, but it leaked precome as Hux worked Kylo’s proastate.
Hux used his hand to rub just behind Kylo’s testicles to stimulate him from the outside as well.
Kylo cursed loudly as Hux worked. Hux loved watching Kylo fall apart on his table. Hux didn’t need to get elaborate for Kylo to fall apart, but it was always special to try something new and see just how much of a mess it would make of Kylo.
“What are you feeling, Mr. Ren?” Hux asked, adding a little more pressure as he carefully monitored Kylo.
“Close,” Kylo grunted.
“Close to what?” Hux asked.
“Coming. Feel it in my gut. In my—” Kylo’s voice broke on a moan as his cock twitched.
“I’m going to switch instruments. I want you to keep breathing steadily for me,” Hux said, removing the first dildo and covering the second in a condom as well. He lubricated it then slowly pressed it into Kylo. He timed it perfectly, giving Kylo enough time to come back from the edge but not long enough to have to start building him up from the beginning.
Kylo was breathing heavily, but Hux still turned on the vibrator function almost immediately. Kylo screamed as Hux stimulated his prostate with it. Hux was quick to roll a condom onto Kylo’s cock with one gloved hand even as he continued to pleasure him.
“We’re almost finished, Mr. Ren. I promise you’ll feel better in just a moment,” Hux said as he raised the power on the vibrator.
Kylo’s whole body convulsed as he spilled into the condom. Hux didn’t stop the vibrator though. He continued to stimulate Kylo, causing another wave of release to empty into the condom. Hux massages Kylo’s abdomen and around his twitching cock, making sure he was constantly touching the man. Hux lowered the setting, but he continued to gently press it around Kylo’s prostate. When Kylo looked completely ready to fall apart, Hux turned the vibrator off and removed it.
Kylo’s legs quivered, and his whole body quaked with each breath he took.
“Doesn’t that feel better?” Hux asked. Kylo just moaned as Hux slowly closed the speculum again. “Breathe out,” Hux said as he began to remove the tool.
Kylo twitched as it slipped out of him. Hux rubbed his thighs gently once he was free of it. Then he removed the condom covering Kylo’s cock. He used a cloth to clean Kylo’s cock off.
“I’ll send this to the lab for examination,” Hux told him, placing the tied-off condom on the table.
Kylo nodded, looking more feverish than he had at the start.
Kylo was still hard though not completely, but every time Hux touched him it sent shivers through Kylo’s body. “Are you still feeling unwell?” Hux asked.
Kylo nodded, biting his bottom lip. The scar was so much more pronounced when Kylo was aroused. It was thick white lightning cutting across his flushed features.
“I have a less traditional remedy,” Hux told him thoughtfully. “I’ll need you to move to the very end of the table,” Hux told him, guiding him down until his ass hung over the edge and the stirrups brought his legs up closer to his chest.
“Steady yourself now,” Hux told him, unzipping his own slacks and freeing his cock. He quickly rolled on a condom and stroked himself with a lube covered glove. He used his fingers to quickly make sure that Kylo was ready for him.
“This is a much rougher procedure,” Hux told him, sliding into him.
“Please, doctor,” Kylo said, reaching for Hux.
Hux pushed the light out of the way and gripped Kylo’s thighs as he pressed into him.
“Harder,” Kylo demanded as Hux began to rock his hips. It was like he couldn’t control himself as soon as Hux broke protocol. Kylo had been getting more and more demanding when their office visits ended with Hux inside him or when Kylo ended up inside of him. Hux had taken several samples using his ass to stimulate Kylo. He would’ve done that tonight if he wasn’t completely exhausted. He’d probably fall right off the exam table if he tried to climb on top of Kylo.
Hux followed the order, snapping his hips, knowing that Kylo was thoroughly ready for him. He leaned over Kylo’s body, and he tore down Kylo’s gown to reveal his heaving chest. Hux rested his gloved hand over Kylo’s heart and rocked into him deeply.
Hux had no hope of lasting long, and Kylo wasn’t exactly to epitome of coherence. Kylo wrapped his hands around Hux’s biceps and pulled him as close as he could get. Hux made sure to rove his hands all over Kylo’s body, knowing how much that affected him. Everything was about contact.
Wrapping his hand around Kylo’s cock, Hux began to jerk him quickly. That was all it took for Kylo to shake with pleasure. This one was more pronounced that the prostate ones, and while he didn’t come as much, it rocked through him almost violently. His grip on Hux tightened as did his ass around Hux.
That pulled Hux over the edge as well and they shook against each other, both breathing raggedly. When Hux pulled free, he rested his head on Kylo’s stomach, bent over the table between Kylo’s legs. He pulled the condom off and just let it drop to the floor.
Kylo’s fingers ran through Hux’s hair, even as Kylo’s release smeared over Hux’s shirt. Hux pulled off his gloves and dropped them to the floor as well, so he could run his bare fingers over Kylo’s ribs. Neither of them attempted to get up for a long time.
They were content to touch and hold each other while they recovered. Exhaustion set in rapidly though. It had been a long day for both of them. Emotions were high even if they’d handled themselves well.
“I want to hold you,” Kylo said after a while.
“You’ll have to get me to bed first,” Hux told him, feeling too exhausted to clean them or the room up. Sometimes clean up was almost like part of the play. Kylo would watch Hux wipe down the instruments and disinfect the toys before Hux came back and gently cleaned him. Night’s like tonight, they retreated to the bedroom and Kylo took over.
“Let me out of the stirrups, and if I can feel my feet I’ll carry you to bed,” Kylo told him.
Hux huffed, but he pushed himself up and helped Kylo out of the leg holders. He took them out one at a time and massaged each leg before lowering it. Kylo groaned as Hux dug deeply into the muscles.
“How does that feel?” Hux asked as he helped Kylo sit up.
“They were right to take your license,” Kylo told him.
Hux actually laughed. It had been a tense topic for months. Kylo had felt guilty because he knew how important Hux’s career had been to him, and Hux had been bitter that even though he was found not guilty he’d never truly get his life back. Things had shifted though. Hux had realized along the way that doing something else with his life didn’t make it less meaningful, and Kylo slowly forgave himself for something that wasn’t his fault.
Hux wouldn’t have changed his actions even if he could’ve kept his license. Kylo being alive and mostly healthy was more important to him than his license. It was something Hux never would have thought possible before he met Kylo, but he’d been naive.
“Shut up,” Hux said, slapping him on the arm.
Kylo stood up and didn’t give Hux any warning before lifting him over his shoulder. Hux hated to be carried especially over Kylo’s shoulder like a sack of potatoes, but Kylo was becoming fond of throwing Hux over his shoulder like he weighed nothing. It was undignified especially when Kylo slapped his ass just because he could.
“Dammit, Ren! You aren’t even wearing clothes,” Hux complained staring down at Kylo’s bare ass. The hospital gown had fallen to the floor when he stood up, so Kylo was completely naked with lubricant covering his upper thighs. If one of the knights had come it, it wouldn’t even be the first time one of them caught Kylo carrying Hux whilst wearing nothing at all.
“Don’t fight it, or I may drop you,” Kylo warned him, carrying him out of the room and not even looking to see if Ilan or someone else had returned.
Hux slapped him hard on the ass when he almost hit Hux against the doorway, but Kylo was too aware for that. The red handprint on his ass cheek was satisfying though. Served him right.
Kylo dropped Hux onto the bed and was immediately on top of him. Kylo stripped him out of his coat and suit and threw his garments across the room with no regard for them.
“You’re going to be the one that irons those,” Hux complained, but Kylo just grunted and continued to strip him naked.
“Shut up and go to sleep,” Kylo told him.
“You don’t want to talk about today?” Hux asked, trying to fight a yawn back. He didn’t want to discourage Kylo when he knew how difficult anything pertaining to his parents was.
“I can’t right now, not without getting a headache,” Kylo told him, adjusting Hux so that he could wrap his arms around Hux’s hip and chest. Hux knew that that meant they’d discuss it tomorrow once Kylo got some distance from it. It was shocking how well they we beginning to understand each other. There were still miscues, but mostly they got each other and acted accordingly.
“Thank you,” Hux said softly once they’d settled in.
“Don’t. I did it for me as much as I did it for you. I owed you,” Kylo told him.
“You did it though, or you had Ilan take care of it. I feel better. Not good about it, but I feel like I can sleep tonight, knowing he isn’t out there anymore,” Hux admitted.
“Then get some sleep,” Kylo insisted, pressing his lips against Hux’s temple.
Hux closed his eyes, and he didn’t dream of blood or horror. He didn’t dream in death or suffering. In fact, he couldn’t say whether he dreamt at all. His sleep was deep and blank, and throughout there was an all encompassing sense of safety.
Kylo’s sleep wasn’t as tranquil, but Hux woke to settle him. He’d let Kylo rub and rut against him until he was exhausted again, and they’d fall into slumber for another hour or two.
It wasn’t perfect, but Hux believed it was better than things were before Ren.
Hux woke to the sensation of sweaty hair against his inner thighs. He groaned and closed his legs, effectively boxing Kylo’s ears.
Hux blinked his eyes open when he heard Kylo grunt in annoyance. “Don’t put your head in places it might get stuck,” Hux warned him groggily. Kylo’s schedule bounced around so often that Hux couldn’t keep up with whether it was a wake up at five morning or a wake of at noon one most days. Evidently, it had been a wake up at five one, because Kylo was absolutely drenched in sweat from his morning workout and horny enough to want to wake Hux up before he had to shower and get to work.
“Shower with me,” Kylo demanded, head still hopelessly trapped between Hux’s thighs which forced him to address Hux’s cock rather than Hux himself.
“I don’t have to be to the office for another four hours,” Hux said. He’d valued his sleep so much more since being released. The ability to rest without fearing any sort of violence was addicting, and not having to worry that he’d be called into surgery at any moment was also rather addicting.
“I want you to shower with me,” Kylo said, using those big muscles he spent so much time cultivating to pry Hux’s legs open enough to escape. He just ended up dropping his sweaty body right on top of Hux’s. As far as escape plans went, it was lacking.
“Covering me in your sweat is not the way to get me to comply happily,” Hux told him, wrinkling his nose at the stink of Ren.
“I’m going to hold you and press you to the wall,” Kylo told him, pinning him to the bed.
“I’m aware. We do it every morning,” Hux sighed, though he wasn’t tired of that specific act in the least.
That had become one of their favorite morning rituals. They’d shower together in the massive cubicle, and Kylo would just engulf him. He’d wrap his huge frame around Hux’s narrower body and just hug him to the wall. Hux felt protected, and Kylo got to feel the intimacy of being allowed to just hold Hux. Sometimes if they had the time, they’d work up to sex, and Kylo would take him just like that, but it didn’t have go in that direction. Most mornings they just stood there talking under the stream of the shower. It wasn’t about getting off. It just took the edge off of frenzied mornings.
“I’m coming. Go start the water,” Hux told him, figuring he could roll over for another couple of minutes before Kylo came and dragged him out of bed for real.
“It’s already on and waiting.”
“Bastard,” Hux groaned. Kylo was clearly onto him.
“I was going to lick your ass, but you were a dick about it,” Kylo told him.
Hux huffed, pushing Kylo’s head back down. Kylo snorted softly. Hux wasn’t even surprised when Kylo grabbed him and flipped him onto his stomach, slipping a pillow beneath his hips.
“One of these days, I’m going to put you in the stirrups and just do this to you for hours,” Kylo told him, spreading Hux’s cheeks.
Hux didn’t argue. Kylo was welcome to suggest whatever he liked. Hux had been surprised by how active his sex drive had become since his release, but he supposed with the lower stress levels and the healthier relationship it wasn’t entirely shocking. He still wasn’t on Kylo’s level, and he doubted he was even up to average, but it was a good level for him, and Kylo certainly wasn’t complaining.
Kylo dipped his tongue against Hux’s hole, and Hux lost his train of thought. He let himself relax as Kylo teased and pleasured him. He hugged his pillow and cherished the last few minutes he had in bed as well as the feel of Kylo’s mouth.
When Hux was feeling rather lust drunk, Kylo dragged him to the shower and did exactly as promised. Hux could fall asleep in there it felt so nice.
“Thank you for encouraging me to go yesterday. My head’s clearer today,” Kylo murmured into Hux’s ear as they stood there.
“I’m glad,” Hux sighed.
“I think it would’ve been worse if I’d stayed,” Kylo said after a few more minutes.
That got Hux’s attention. “You do?”
“I think things would’ve just become more pressurized, and I would’ve snapped. The fire...I made sure no one was hurt. Everyone was away on break but me. I checked. I just wanted to get out. I didn’t want to hurt anyone...Snoke wanted a sign of loyalty or something. But if I’d stayed, I think I would’ve blamed everyone my parents showed more attention to than me.” Kylo paused, rubbing his face against Hux’s shoulder. Hux never quite knew what Kylo got out of the move, but it was clearly used to comfort himself. “I don’t hate how my life turned out. I would’ve been a terrible police officer. I would’ve been miserable in the public eye when my mom started to become a household name. I probably would’ve hated you if I met you at a fundraiser,” Kylo said.
“Like I hated you invading my clinic? You think you could’ve resisted my charm as I demanded money for my mother’s foundation? We would’ve been naked and groping in that bathroom just the same,” Hux told him.
“You know that’s a complete lie, but I’m glad I have you...even if how we met was fucked up.”
“Was it?” Hux couldn’t help his sarcasm. He remembered running into Kylo in the parking lot at the hospital and thinking the man wanted to skin him alive or something. What a strange beginning they’d had, and yet he believed they were somehow stronger for it. “I’m glad we met too, Ren, and I don’t hate how things turned out either,” he added softly, stroking Kylo’s arm.
“I think you should come shooting when my parents and I go,” Kylo suggested.
“So you don’t shoot them accidentally?”
“No. I’d just like you there.”
“Fine, but I expect you to have my tea waiting for me by the time I get dressed,” Hux told him.
“Consider it done.”
Hux sighed again. “Ilan is here, isn’t he?”
“We went to the gym together.”
Hux groaned. “Have him make breakfast too if he’s using my damn membership. Do you know they questioned who I was when tried to go down to the gym in my own damn building?” Hux grumbled.
Kylo and Ilan had been taking advantage of the gym since Kylo had been able to eat properly again. He turned and rinsed himself off before getting out, not bothering to reply to Hux’s complaint. Hux stood under the hot water for several more minutes while Kylo shaved and dressed.
Hux stood in front of the mirror in just his towel when he got out, and he carefully shaved. When he rinsed his face, he looked at himself again. There weren’t bags under his eyes anymore, and the lines that had been becoming noticeable had stopped getting deeper.
Hux wondered idly if this was what happiness looked like. He shook his head at his own thoughts and went out to get his tea before it got cold. He stepped out of the room in a black robe and he walked into the kitchen. Kylo, Ilan, and Verne, were seated around the table talking. Well, Verne was sitting on the floor eating scraps, but it was really the same thing.
No one looked up as Hux walked in, but Kylo handed him his tea as he took the stool beside Kylo. Hux didn’t join the conversation, he just ate what Ilan put in front of him and watched the two men interact. They had their own language of sorts. There were grunts and growls that meant as much, if not more, than the actual sentences they spoke.
Hux just leaned against Kylo and experienced it. If they needed his opinion they’d ask him directly. In the meantime, it just felt good to belong.